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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  December 22, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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>> o'donnell before christmas, floods and snow in the west, tornado threats in the south, and t-shirt weather in the east. also tonight, a visa application tells us more about the san bernardino terrorists. donald trump hits below the belt in a new attack on hillary clinton. >> she was favored to win and she got ( bleep ). >> o'donnell: and riding the joy of christmas on the snowball express. >> i just wish we could stay here for a year. >> reporter: a year? >> i wish we could stay here forever. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> o'donnell: good evening. scott is off tonight. i'm norah o'donnell. and this is our western edition. there's a rough few days ahead for anyone traveling for the holidays. in the northwest, violent storms
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have sent trees into houses and on to cars. heavy snow has been falling in the mountains. severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are forecast from the deep south to the ohio valley as the east heat up to spring-like weather for christmas. we have a team of correspondents covering this, beginning with john blackstone. >> reporter: harsh weather in the west has left communities buried in snow, soaked by heavy rain, and battered by powerful wind. in portland, oregon today, crews were cleaning up trees blown over in the storm. >> i heard a loud boom but didn't really know what it was. and then the whole house, it was like it was on a little trampoline, like, it almost bounced. the cookies-- everything went flying. >> reporter: the power was still out today for thousands in the portland area. a line came down near heather kurmas. >> the power lines were turning green, blue, orange, and everything was shaking. it was pretty crazy. >> reporter: at snoqualmie in
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the mountains outside seattle, deep and heavy snow stopped traffic. a search for a missing back- country skier resumed today after being called off yesterday because of weather. alan labissonier of king county search-and-rescue. >> you see the conditions, it's bad. avalanche danger is really extreme. >> reporter: the same storm buried the town of kamas 40 miles from salt lake city under a foot of fresh snow. in california, on the road to lake tahoe, mountain traffic came to a near standstill as plows worked to clear the snow. on these roads, trucker bill brown is in no hurry. >> my only concern is a guy in a four-wheeler who's doing way-- 50 miles per hour and hydroplanes in the rain and i have to dodge him. >> reporter: in southern california's mojave desert, more than 15 tractor trailers were blown over by winds gusting 60- 80 miles per hour. in the mountains east of los angeles, enough snow fell to open the slopes for night skiing.
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another cold storm from up in the gulf of alaska is coming towards the west coast. it could bring snow on christmas eve to seattle and portland, two places that don't usually get a white christmas. and, norah, we could even get snow in some of the high hills here in the san francisco area. >> o'donnell: how about that. john blackstone thank you so much. as the west cools down, the eastern half of the country is heating up. jericka duncan has that story. >> reporter: on the busiest shipping week of the year, mail carrier valerie dickson has some spring in her step. >> usually i have my big coat, two pairs of gloves, a scarf around my throat, mouth, nose and all that. i have a scarf on but i don't need to be wrapped all up. >> reporter: in chicago, where dixon was making her rounds, temperatures were in the 50s, but this was dixon last year with wind chills at 20 below. >> snow, cold-- i'm dressed for it. >> reporter: seeing green means more green at this golf course in massachusetts.
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manager dick murphy thanks mother nature. >> now, we're going to be open right through sunday, so we're beyond christmas. that's unheard of. >> reporter: but other businesses in the northeast, like ski resorts, are watching profits melt away. new york city is bringing in winter on a high note. central park is on pace to break a december record for fewest days below freezing. the macleod family of scotland is visiting the city for the first time. >> we brought big, massive winter jackets, expecting to have to keep warm going for walks and that, but as you can see, they're back in the hotel and i'm wearing a t-shirt. >> reporter: the high on christmas eve is expected to break a record, and, norah, if the temperature gets above 64 degrees on christmas day, well, that, too, would be historic. >> o'donnell: historic, indeed. jericka duncan thank you so much. eric fisher is chief meteorologist at our cbs station in boston, wbz. so, eric, i understand the south
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is in for some heavy storms. >> very stormy times here as we head through this holiday week. norah, the ingredients are there for a potential severe weather outbreak tomorrow. we've got cold dry air coming down across the plains and unusually warm, moist air being lifted up out of the gulf of mexico. we're really watching this area in particular, could see several tornadoes during the day tomorrow and into tomorrow night. it's those night time tornadoes that are the most dangerous because folks are asleep, and sometimes you don't see it coming. a couple of rounds of storms. they'll all be racing off to the east-northeast. a lot of heavy rain goes along with all of this. so certainly we want people to stay weather aware here as we head through wednesday and into christmas eve. of course, all of this fueled by the incredible warmth, just dozens and dozens of records set up and down the coast from maine all the way down to florida. norah, for the southeast many cities will set record highs every single day until monday of next week. >> o'donnell: incredible, thank you. also heating up is the feud between the republican and democratic front-runners in the race for president. today, hillary clinton responded
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to some crude comments made about her by donald trump. and major garrett is following this. >> we love michigan. >> reporter: donald trump's final rally before christmas was full of interruptions. >> you're a bigot! >> bye-bye. >> reporter: and insults for hillary clinton. >> she's terrible. "donald trump is on video, and isis is using him on the video to recruit!" and it turned out to be a lie. she's a liar. i'm watching the debate, and she disappeared. where did she go! i know where she went. it's disgusting. i don't want to talk about it. >> reporter: pretty standard for trump-- abrasive, accusatory, slightly bizarre. but nothing compared to this. >> hillary, that's not a president. even a race to obama, she was going to beat obama. she was favored to win and she got ( bleep ). she lost. >> reporter: that yiddish vulgarism prompted hillary
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clinton's spokeswoman jennifer palmieri to tweet, the campaign would not respond, >> you are looking at somebody who has had a lot of terrible things said about me. >> reporter: campaigning in iowa today, clinton cast trump's insults as a form of bullying. >> it's important to stand up to bullies wherever they are and why we shouldn't let anybody bully their way to the presidency. >> she's great at being a victim. >> reporter: in new hampshire, trump's g.o.p. rival, jeb bush, took a swipe at both candidates. >> there has to be a level of decorum to win. it's not a sign of strange to insult people with profanity. it's not a serious thing. >> reporter: a new quinnipiac national poll found clinton ahead of trump 47% to 40%, and clinton effectively tied with marco rubio and ted cruz. norah, that survey also found 50% of voters say they would be embarrassed to have trump as president.
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>> o'donnell: all right, major garrett, thank you. president obama took a rare swipe at donald trump in an interview with national public radio. the president said trump is capitalizing on the resentment of working class men who have seen their bills go up while their wages stay flat. >> you combine those things and it means that there's going to be potential anger, frustration, fear. some of it justified but just misdirected. and, you know, i think somebody like mr. trump's taken advantage of that. that's what he's exploiting during the course of his campaign. >> o'donnell: mr. obama also claimed some of the republican resentment toward him can be chalked up to his status as the first black president. tonight, we're learning more about the american service members killed yesterday by a suicide bomber in afghanistan. it was the worst attack on u.s. forces there this year. margaret brennan is at the pentagon. >> how you doing? >> reporter: after his first tour of afghanistan, joseph lemm
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came home to surprise his children and his wife. but his second tour came to a tragic end this week. he was among the six u.s. service men killed by a taliban suicide bomber who drove a motorcycle packed with explosives into the american patrol. lemm was a 15-year veteran of the new york police department and a member of the air national guard. major adrianna vorderbruggen was the highest ranking officer killed and one of the first openly gay female air force officers killed in action. special agent peter taub also lost his life. his mother runs this washington restaurant and posted a note on the door saying they were closed to mourn this horrible loss. a regular customer, vivienne ramgeet, left a teddy bear and a christmas tree at the front door. >> i'm grieving for my friends. and i'm-- i'm-- i'm truly devastated. >> reporter: the three other airmen killed were michael cinco, chester mcbride, and louis bonacasa.
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only a day after the american ambush, u.s. and british soldiers went to the aid of the struggling afghan army trying to hold off the taliban takeover of a crucial southern province. the taliban has been gaining strength ever since the end of the u.s. combat mission and draw-down. today they released a photograph of the bomber they claimed attacked the americans. tonight, the pentagon will release officially the names of the fallen. but, norah, these deaths are especially heartbreaking for so many families coming right before christmas, and just months after president obama decided to extend the longest war in american history. >> o'donnell: margaret brennan, thank you. a grim milestone has been reached in europe's refugee crisis. the u.n. refugee agency said today more than one million people have entered europe this year after fleeing war and poverty in the middle east and north africa. half came from syria. nearly 3,700 died on the journey or went missing. today, f.b.i. director james
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comey visited the bureau's l.a. field office to thank agents and police who investigated the massacre in san bernardino in which 14 people were killed. and for the first time, we're getting a look at the visa application filed by one of the terrorists to get into this country. here's homeland security correspondent jeff pegues. >> reporter: eight months before syed farook entered the united states with his bride-to-be, he applied for a fiance visa for pakistani-born tashfeen malik. in the document dated december 31, 2013, farook, an american citizen, wrote that they had met through a matrimonial web site. when asked for more information, farook wrote in a statement that after several weeks of e- mailing, he and malik decided to meet each other. that happened when they both attended the hajj pilgrimage in mecca saudi arabia, on october 3, 2013. and it is on this day, he says, that we got engaged. he signed that statement january 20, 2014.
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immigration officials asked for and received proof. visa stamps that both were at the hajj. ultimately, the application was approved, clearing the way for the san bernardino killers to come into the country. in a statement, the u.s. citizenship and immigration services says, what they didn't know about that the f.b.i. discovered after the shooting were malik's direct private messages about jihad, and evidence that both farook and malik had been showing signs of radicalization long before the couple got engaged. the k-1 visa application relies on self-reporting, and in a separate part of malik's immigration file she reportedly answered no when asked if she had ever engaged in terrorist bativity. norah, obama administration critics believe there were major gaps in the vetting of that application.
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>> o'donnell: all right, jeff pegues, thank you. today, army sergeant bowe bergdahl was arraigned in military court on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. he could face life in prison if convicted, or of the latter. he did not enter a plea. bergdahl walked off his post in afghanistan in 2009 and was held as a taliban prisoner for five years before being swapped for five guantanamo detainees. a grand jury in texas has decided not to indict anyone in the sheriff's office or jail in connection with the death of sandra bland. she was found dead in her cell in july, three days after her confrontational arrest during a traffic stop. her death was ruled a suicide. coming up, what's taking so long to clean up this radioactive mess? a close call on the slope for a world cup skier. and a christmas surprise when "the cbs evening news" continues.
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summer. the new sites include four commercial properties and three homes. add in the five sites already slated for cleanup, and that is 12 places around the creek with contamination. >> they found the tumor, about the size of a golf ball. >> reporter: last fall, angela powers lost her nine-year-old grandchild jordan to a brain tumor that is rare in children. >> if it came from this, wow, we want some answers because it's making me angry. she was my only grandchild. >> there it is right there. >> reporter: it was a variety of rare illnesses that caught the attention of resident jenelle wright and her neighbors. four years ago, the group created a facebook page that has since logged 2,700 cancers and autoimmune conditions around town. they begged federal health authorities to investigate. >> we've had to go through many battles. i don't even know if i can count the agencies, and gatekeepers to different agencies to even have our phone calls returned, literally calling an agency 30 times and not returning your phone call. >> reporter: this month they finally got results.
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the centers for disease control sent a health assessment team to help document the residents' stories. >> you must advocate for yourself. >> reporter: mary oscko has stage four lung cancer and blames it on the contamination. why is the government getting involved now? >> do you notice that the table's shaking? if i shake the table enough, you can't eat your meal off of it. if i make enough noise, you want to listen to me. we're standing up and saying, "hi, i'm mary. i'm dying of cancer." >> reporter: residents are hoping the health study might help them in their legal fights over compensation for medical bills but the assessment could take two years, and, norah, some folks like mary are worried they won't be around long enough to see the results. >> o'donnell: such an incredible story, vinita nair, thank you. >> o'donnell: someone stole a secret service agent's gun in washington. that story is next.
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the agent, a member of the presidential protective division, had gone inside for 45 minutes. when he returned, a bag containing his gun, i.d., badge, and a thumb drive were gone. the agent will likely face disciplinary charges. a world cup skier was nearly hit by a drone today during a race in italy. the drone fell from the sky and crashed just inches from marcel hirscher. he was carrying a tv camera and was shooting the race. hirscher didn't seem to notice and came in second, but afterwards he said this can never happen again. a surprise homecoming in oklahoma. kim gornick wasn't expecting to see her son, wyatt, this christmas. ( screaming ) ( screaming ) >> o'donnell: but as you can see he made an unexpected appearance after returning home from marine infantry training in san diego. she called the moment priceless. a nice, big hug, too. still ahead, why are these kids
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oakland. not everyone is celebrating. why some say it spells trouble in the long next weather talent appears at wx >> o'donnell: finally tonight, the holidays are supposed to be the happiest time of the year for kids, and some eager volunteers are making sure that it is. here's chip reid. >> reporter: more than 1,000 kids were in dallas recently for four days of nonstop joy. there was no limit to the games, the rides, and the fun. >> lightsabers up! >> reporter: and it was all free. if you're wondering why these kids and their parents were treated like such heroes, well, they earned it, the hard way. every child here lost a parent in the military. every parent here lost a spouse.
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chase sullivan is seven, his brother jake, five. their mother bree can't remember the last time they were this happy. >> they get to be with other kids who get it, who understand what it's like to lose a parent. >> reporter: michelle karnoski brought her 13-year-old daughter, sammie. >> it's heartbreaking knowing that all these kids have lost a parent while on active duty military. it's hard. >> reporter: this is the tenth anniversary of the snowball express, a nonprofit charity named for an old disney movie. some families return every year, like carol baruch, and her daughter, amelia. her husband, john, did two tours in iraq. >> he had a larger-than-life personality. and when he came back from his second tour, that personality had changed. >> reporter: suffering from severe post-traumatic stress
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disorder, two days after christmas in 2007, he took his own life. >> around christmastime, like, a classmate will complain about a present they get, their dad gave them, that they didn't like and it's kind of frustrating because i'd do anything to get a bad present from my dad. >> reporter: snowball express is always held during the holiday season because for many here it's the most difficult time of the year. >> because-- >> i can't imagine not coming. like, i can't imagine not ever having this in my life. >> reporter: chase and jake sullivan feel pretty much the same way. >> i just wish we could stay here a year. >> reporter: a year. >> i wish we could stay here forever. >> reporter: forever in a place where everyone understands. ( applause ) chip reid, cbs news, dallas. >> o'donnell: and we will forever remember the millions of kids whose parents have served overseas in iraq and afghanistan. that is the cbs evening news. for scott pelley, i'm norah o'donnell.
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good evening, i'm ken a. now at 6:00 business booming in one bay area city company after company moving in. good evening. >> tonight new numbers show oakland is changing and changing fast. new at 6:00 we look at the new oakland and ask what will the city look like in the next couple of years. >> advertising ceo wanted a change of scenery for his company. he moved his business across the bay bridge. >> when we came over we just found there was a great energy over here and a lot of creativity. >> his company is a prime location. >> we get a lot more for our money too. there is a lot more space and
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more that we can do with it. >> in the past year major home builder decided to set up shop downtown. in september they bought the old building. >> oakland office space demand is high and rent here in san francisco is cheaper. in fact oakland central business district office vacancy rate dropped dramatically from 12.2% last year to 4.6%. >> it is oakland's time. >> the news couldn't come at a better time for oakland's mayor. she says this is proof oakland's market is strong. >> what i am hoping will happen is people will build more office buildings. >> we have entitled projects that haven't dug the shovel in the ground yet. >> oaklanders say one thing that has gone up here, cost for the middle class. >> just having our offices down here, the parking lot next door